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Gods of Earth and Heaven
ISBN 0942642392 / 9780942642391 / 0-942642-39-2
Publisher Twelvetrees Pr
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Once you have witnessed the dark, sensational visions of Joel-Peter Witkin, you will never be the same again. Witkin gets to you. Here you will encounter hermaphrodites, malformed bodies, Siamese twins, corpses, fetuses, cut-off heads, and self-torturers. Witkin's compositions go far beyond conventional "freak show" tableaux to achieve a sinister and dignified beauty, and he includes numerous art-historical references that add context and acerbic wit. This exquisitely produced collection of black-and-white photographs will take you, as Guy Blaisdell writes in an essay at the end of the book, into "a human afterworld ... one that comes before or after the death of this world--a place where the spirits of the dead live on by sitting as works of art for their portraits, descending into our moment and returning always to their identical selves." Warning: Not for those under 18 and/or easily disturbed. [via]